How To Make Elderflower Syrup (Cordial Recipe)

Heather Dessinger

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Bottle of elderflower syrup next to dried elderflowers on kitchen counter

Elderflowers have a long history of traditional use for cold and flu support, seasonal allergy relief, and more, but their fruity, nectar-like floral flavor also makes them perfect for culinary uses – wine, jam, lemonade . . . even fritters!

And of course there’s elderflower syrup – light, delicious, and versatile.

Though elderflower preparations are less common in the United States than, say, elderberry syrup, both elderflower and berry extracts are frequently stocked in pharmacies throughout Europe. (1)

There’s a lot of crossover in the benefits they offer, but when it comes to antioxidant support the flowers may be preferred. That’s because although berries do contain antioxidants including anthocyanins, the creamy white flowers are particularly rich in flavones – up to 10 times more than the the fruit. (2)

According to one study, this difference results in “a much stronger neutralizing activity of free radicals compared to elderberry fruit.” (3)

Fresh white elderflowers growing on elder tree

The recipe you’ll find below – which is sometimes called elderflower cordial – can enjoyed in a variety of ways. For example, you can:

  • Drizzle it over ice cream
  • Make bubbly elderflower soda (recipe below)
  • Stir it into mocktails or cocktails
  • Add a splash to prosecco, white wine, or sparkling wine
  • Make elderflower lemonade (recipe below)
  • Stir it into hot or iced herbal tea
  • Add it to herbal popsicles

If you’ve ever made elderberry syrup, you’ll find the process to be very similar. The main difference is that the simmer time has been reduced because the flowers are more delicate than the berries.

Elderflower Syrup Recipe

With a fruity, nectar-like floral flavor, this elderflower syrup has so many delicious uses – bubbly soda, lemonade, ice cream topping, mocktails and more! For a printable version of this recipe, scroll to the bottom of this article.

Instructions

  • Add water, dried elderflowers and lemon zest to a pot.
  • Bring water to just below a boil, then reduce heat to low and cover the pot. Allow to infuse for 20 minutes.
  • Pour the liquid through a fine mesh strainer or cheesecloth to remove the flowers.
  • Let the infusion cool to room temperature, then measure how much liquid you have. If you have 1 cup of liquid, add 1 cup of honey and stir to combine. If you have a little less, say 3/4 cup liquid, use 3/4 cup honey. The point is to use equal parts liquid and honey.
  • Transfer the elderflower syrup to a mason jar (or other glass jar with a lid) and refrigerate. 

Notes

Honey should not be given to children under the age of one.

Up close view of bubbly elderflower soda

Quick Elderflower Soda Recipe

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons elderflower syrup
  • 1 cup sparkling water (S. Pellegrino, Perrier, Topo Chico or LaCroix will work)
  • squeeze of fresh lemon juice (optional)

Instructions

Elderflower soda is most refreshing served cold, so I recommend either chilling the sparkling water in advance or serving it over ice.

To make, just pour the sparkling water in a glass, add the elderflower syrup (and a squeeze of lemon juice if you have it on hand) and stir until combined. Pour over ice if desired and serve. 

Two glasses filled with ice. Elderflower syrup rests at the bottom of the glasses.
Two glasses filled with elderflower syrup, ice and sparkling water. The water and syrup are sitting in layers, unmixed.
Elderflower soda after mixing.

Elderflower Lemonade Recipe

Ingredients

Instructions

  • Add the honey, lemon juice, water and elderflower syrup to a large pitcher or jar.
  • Whisk the ingredients together until everything is fully combined.
  • Place ice in serving glasses, add the lemonade, and enjoy!

More Herbal Syrups To Try

Rosehip Syrup – According to Nordic folklore, Viking raids were fueled by rosehips, which are loaded compounds that support immunity, vitality and well-being.⁠ Here’s how to make them into rosehip syrup, jam, elixir, and oxymel.

Schisandra Berry Syrup – If you already love elderberry syrup, you’re going to add this to the mix! Made from the “five flavors fruit,” this syrup is a delicious way to support immune function and energy levels through the fall/winter months.

Ginger Syrup – Ginger has been used for thousands of years to soothe tummy aches, nausea and indigestion, as well as support immune function. Here’s how to make it into a soothing syrup.

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Elderflower Syrup Recipe (Elderflower Cordial)

With a fruity, nectar-like floral flavor, this elderflower syrup has so many delicious uses – bubbly soda, lemonade, ice cream topping, mocktails and more!
Prep Time 2 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Cooling Time 28 minutes
Servings 2 cups
Calories 515kcal
Author Heather Dessinger

Ingredients

Instructions

  • Add water, dried elderflowers and lemon zest to a pot.
  • Bring water to just below a boil, then reduce heat to low and cover the pot. Allow to infuse for 20 minutes.
  • Pour the liquid through a fine mesh strainer or cheesecloth to remove the flowers.
  • Let the infusion cool to room temperature, then measure how much liquid you have. If you have 1 cup of liquid, add 1 cup of honey and stir to combine. If you have a little less, say 3/4 cup liquid, use 3/4 cup honey. The point is to use equal parts liquid and honey.
  • Transfer the elderflower syrup to a mason jar (or other glass jar with a lid) and refrigerate. 

Notes

Honey should not be given to children under the age of one.
Nutritional values are estimates. Lemon peel is not included in the estimate. 

Nutrition

Calories: 515kcal | Carbohydrates: 140g | Protein: 1g | Sodium: 22mg | Potassium: 88mg | Fiber: 0.3g | Sugar: 139g | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 19mg | Iron: 1mg

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Up close view of elderflower soda in bottle.

Sources

  1. Rosemary Gladstar (2012) Rosemary Gladstar’s Medicinal Herbs: 33 Healing Herbs to Know, Grow and Use
  2. Andrzej Sidor and Anna Gramza-Michałowska (2015) Advanced research on the antioxidant and health benefit of elderberry (Sambucus nigra) in food – a review
  3. Georgiana Smaranda Marțiș (Petruț) et. al. (2021) The Physicochemical and Antioxidant Properties of Sambucus nigra L. and Sambucus nigra Haschberg during Growth Phases: From Buds to Ripening

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About HEATHER

Heather is a holistic health educator, herbalist, DIYer, Lyme and mold warrior. Since founding Mommypotamus.com in 2009, Heather has been taking complicated health research and making it easy to understand. She shares tested natural recipes and herbal remedies with millions of naturally minded mamas around the world. 

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2 thoughts on “How To Make Elderflower Syrup (Cordial Recipe)”

    • I have not tried it, but from what I understand it’s possible to use the fresh blossoms (no stems) to create the infusion, but in order to achieve the same approximate potency the amount needs to be roughly tripled. Make sure to blend with equal amounts water and honey to preserve freshness.

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